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post #4 of Old 02-24-2009
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Unhappy Jeanneau bilge pump system issues... cycling etc....and check valves too

I have a 1996 Jeanneau SO 36.2. Love the boat, except I have a couple of gripes.

My bilge pump recently failed, and I'm not sure if it's because of the location of the pump, the size, the age, or what. However, I think the system is lousy. I'm not sure if mine is factory or not, as I'm the 3rd owner. Currently, the pump has a float switch and is in the small 8" cavity of the jeanneau bilge. The pump also was never wired directly to the batteries, which means it's controlled at the circuit breaker, and will only go on when the breaker is switched. Moreover, the pump is never able to fully get rid of the last bit of water in that hole. I have to either sponge it or use a manual pump. The boat isn't taking on water, it comes from splashing from the sinks, or spills, bleeding the stuffingbox, etc...

Now that my pump isn't working and barring any electrical anomalies, I'm inclined to modify the system. I think the major problem is in the Jeanneau plumbing design. The bilge pump hose shoots straight up to a hole just a few inches under the gunwale. It's not pressurized, so the pump with float switch isn't able to rid that last bit. It basically shoots it up into the hose, then turns off the switch, water comes back down, and then the cycle repeats. Any ideas on a solution for this problem?

Also, any advice for or against wiring the pump right to the batteries?

Nice summary of the issues! You can see from the posts following yours, you are not alone wtih the pump cycling problem.

First if you don't have it already, I would suggest you buy a copy of Nigel Calder's "Boatowner's Mechanical And Electrical Manual" (Hardcover third edition) This book will cover most of your problems and is current with the most recent standards.

You are correct there are issues with the bilge pump system design. By designing the system the way they did... the builder was able to avoid a through-hull at the waterline with a sea-**** plus a vented loop. This design complies with ABYC Stardards, except for the problem of the water running back which GeminiDaze solved with a check valve! His solution is the only time you can put a check valve in the bilge pump discharge line!

I am not a fan of this design but that is my issue.. I don't like to hear water spashing from pumps running at night.I also don't like check valves in the discharge line as they tend to cause more problems than they resolve in my experience.

Do a search on "Bilge Pump Hose Placement Questions" a thread started by BillofCapeCod which will answer most of your questions. Read the whole thread and I think your questions will be answered. It has the ABYC standard listed there as well. We had a really good discussion in that thread last week.

Note: Could someone show me how to get links to work in a post please? PM me.

Hope that helps..... good luck to you


ABYC Master Technician
ABYC Certified in Standards, Corrosion, Diesel, and Systems

"It's not just about the vessel... more importantly it is about the people, their safety and their vessels in that order. "(PFJ 1952-1986)

Last edited by JHJensen; 02-24-2009 at 09:41 AM.
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